The 2020 Fall Budget highlighted Ontario’s vision for a modernized, client-focused apprenticeship and skilled trades system through the Skilled Trades Strategy.

The strategy seeks to modernize the skilled trades and apprenticeship system and help enable the province’s economic recovery by:

  • breaking the stigma and support awareness of the skilled trades
  • simplifying the system
  • encouraging employer participation

Visit this page often for updates on:

Changes in effect

Enhance supports for apprentices

The government has launched the following new programs to improve services for apprentices:

  • The Group Sponsorship Grant which encourages employers to come together to train apprentices in the full scope of their trade.
  • The Achievement Incentive program to encourage skilled trades employers to train apprentices toward trade program progression, completion and certification through milestone payments.

Learn more about money apprentices can receive during their training.

Changes in progress

New framework for the skilled trades and apprenticeship system

The Building Opportunities in the Skilled Trades Act, 2021 received Royal Assent on June 3, 2021. This legislation will transform the system and make it more efficient and easier to navigate. 

This legislation will:

  • establish a new Crown agency called Skilled Trades Ontario that would enable tradespeople to get certification in one place, with enhanced digital services
  • assign the Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development responsibility for regulatory decisions for the skilled trades and the Ministry responsibility for inspections
  • enhance the services provided to apprentices, skilled trades workers and their employers

Until the new agency (Skilled Trades Ontario) is in place (anticipated in January 2022), the Ontario College of Trades continues to provide services as required under the Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship Act, 2009, including:

  • issuing certificates
  • certification renewals for compulsory trades
  • trade equivalency assessments for out of province trades looking to work in Ontario

During this transition period, College members, including compulsory trades, should continue to keep their membership status in good standing.

New agency to oversee apprenticeship training

Skilled Trades Ontario will be responsible for apprenticeship and skilled trades training and certification in Ontario, including:

  • registering apprentice training agreements
  • issuing certificates
  • developing apprenticeship program standards
  • assessing individuals who have not completed an Ontario apprenticeship

Key goals of system change include:

  • one-window access for all client services, making the system more efficient and easier to use for apprentices, journeypersons and employers
  • a digital-first service delivery model for all skilled trades and apprenticeship clients with round-the-clock access to online services
  • a comprehensive assisted-support model for people who are unable to use digital services on their own

Contact us

If you are an Ontario College of Trades member and have an inquiry regarding your membership and related services, cluding renewing your certification, please contact the OCOT at 1-855-299-0028.

If you need more information about skilled trades and apprenticeship modernization, please contact Employment Ontario:

Updated: July 14, 2021
Published: June 19, 2019